Republican National Convention 2012: Romney campaign & RNC condemn racial taunting incident

The Romney campaign condemned the racial taunting of an African-American CNN camera operator during Tuesday’s opening of the Republican National Convention. 

Multiple witnesses saw two RNC attendees throw peanuts at a black CNN camera operator, saying “This is how we feed animals.” The two unidentified attendees were reportedly escorted out of the convention by police and RNC security.

“We thought it absolutely deplorable. We condemn it in the highest possible way. That behavior is just reprehensible,” said Russ Schriefer, a Romney campaign strategist, during Thursday morning’s press briefing call.

Schriefer and RNC spokesman Kyle Downey did not comment on whether the two individuals’ convention credentials were revoked.

The CNN camera operator, identified as Patricia Carroll, told Richard Prince’s Journal-isms that “I hate that it happened, but I’m not surprised at all.”

“This is Florida, and I’m from the Deep South,” said Carroll. “You come to places like this, you can count the black people on your hand. They see us doing things they don’t think I should do.”

According to Carroll, no one took down the names of the nut-throwing perpetrators, who were  thought to be alternate delegates.

The RNC released a statement on Tuesday night, calling the attendees’ behavior “deplorable.”

“Their conduct was inexcusable and unacceptable. This kind of behavior will not be tolerated,” the RNC stated.

CNN confirmed the incident and said the matter was addressed with convention officials.

“CNN can confirm there was an incident directed at an employee inside the Tampa Bay Times Forum earlier this afternoon. CNN worked with convention officials to address this matter and will have no further comment,” according to the statement issued by CNN. 

The incident took place a day after MSNBC’s Chris Matthews criticized the Republican Party for playing the “race card” by continuing the discredited ‘birthed’ attacks on President Barack Obama’s birth status and the “dishonest” accusations that the White House has eliminated work requirements for welfare recipients, whom Republicans have conflated with African-Americans, Latinos, and people of color.

“That cheap shot of ‘I don’t have a problem with my birth certificate’ was awful. It is an embarrassment to your party to play that card,” Matthews told RNC Chairman Reince Priebus on MSNBC’s Morning Joe program. ”You are playing that little ethnic card there. You can play your games and giggle about it but the fact is your side is playing that card.”


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